Pick Yourself Up By Your Bootstraps

So I’m going to go on a mini rant about an opinion of mine that I’m sure is fairly unpopular, especially among religious/Christian people.

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So now that the weather’s warm and the sun is our more, I’ve been seeing a lot more of this. Sometimes I’ll even see it 3 or 4 times in a single trip! Now before you get all mad at me, I am not in any way judging these people for the situation that they are in. I don’t know their story about how they got there or anything like that. If I see people that are in need, I help them. But you also have to do a certain amount of helping yourself too. The way I look at it is this: if you have the ability to get yourself to that corner and stand there for multiple hours, and then continue to come back and do it again for multiple days, then you can get yourself to a job. Most of the time these people are standing on corners at the end of strip malls or on sidewalks in big shopping centers, so why don’t they spend their time walking to each and every store in the area and filling out applications? Yes, everyone is saying how horrible the economy is and how hard it is to find jobs. It’s hard to find good jobs for those people who have been laid off from higher management jobs and things like that. It isn’t hard to find a minimum wage job working retail or food service. I’m sure the most common complaint from people who are looking for a job is that they don’t want to work at McDonalds or another fast food place because it would be embarrassing if people that they knew came in while they were working. Which is more embarrassing and demoralizing, standing on a street corner begging for money or actively doing something about your situation and working a food service job so that you can start building your life back up?

I am always willing to help people that are in need, but I will not help people that won’t help themselves. One of my husband’s cousins is currently living with us because he moved to Lexington and had been couch surfing because he couldn’t afford an apartment on what he makes as a server. I help friends with food, I help family members with rides and gas money and buying presents for others that they can’t afford. I believe in serving others. But God expects us to do our part too, and so do I.

I may not be the most motivated person in the world, I may hate having to go to work every day when I would much rather spend my time hanging out with my dogs and sleeping, but I have never just sat around and expected others to provide everything for me (being a kid doesn’t count). Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get yourself together. Go get a job and get some food stamps. Set yourself a goal and work until you achieve it.Do something that you’ll be proud of, don’t just stand around on a street corner and beg for other people’s money that they have worked for. Go work for your own.

Humane or Cruel?

I came across this picture on Twitter this afternoon and it really struck a chord with me.

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People were saying “Retweet this to get these collars banned!” but to me, this is very upsetting. But I’m not upset for the reasons that you probably think. Yes, I am upset by the fact that a person let this poor dog get into this condition due to a collar; but I’m just as upset  that people are now trying to say that it’s the collar’s fault that this poor dog looks this way. I even had one girl get upset with me because in her opinion “These collars shouldn’t exist”

These collars are intended for use on large dogs who have very thick fur and/or lots of skin or fat around their neck. The prongs are not pointed, it is fully adjustable through removable links, and it does not choke the dog as long as it is sized correctly. Most large dogs are very strong and it is difficult for some people to control them when they are walking, and if you have ever walked a dog that pulls constantly then you know that it is not a fun experience. This collar is designed to help with that. The girl from Twitter’s reasoning for hating these collars is “That doesn’t mean there isn’t a possibility that it won’t hurt the dog. I speak from experience.” My response to that is that everything could possibly hurt a dog, and I speak from experience as well. Somebody could give a dog a grape, thinking that they were giving it a treat, and grapes are poisonous to dogs. A dog like my King could pull hard enough on a normal collar to damage himself without proper supervision. I read a report yesterday (which I kind of rolled my eyes at) saying that giving your dogs ice water is harmful because the severe cold of the water causes dangerous bloating. A dog could go out in the backyard and roll around in some weeds that you didn’t know were there and get covered in itchy bumps from an unknown source. A dog could swallow a piece off of a rawhide bone funny and get choked up. A dog can get startled and run into the corner of a wall and tear a nail off. I’ve had 4 of those things happen to my dogs.

Basically, anything and everything has the potential to be harmful and dangerous to your dogs. Their safety is part of your responsibility as the owner. It’s the same as a child, they don’t understand the world in the same way that we do so it is our job to take care of them and protect them. There is nothing wrong with using a prong collar, just like there’s nothing wrong with using a bark collar or an electric fence, both of which are more immediately physically harmful than a prong collar. There is nothing wrong with using whichever means of discipline that you choose, as long as you do so responsibly.

To me, that’s how everything should be. Eating a candy bar isn’t going to rot your teeth out, but not being responsible about how much sugar and candy you consume will rot your teeth as well as causing many other detrimental health issues. Using a prong collar when walking your dog, whether for your own comfort or to make it easier for your kids to walk the dog or whatever other need you have for it, isn’t a bad thing. It becomes a bad thing when you overuse the collar, use it incorrectly, or put it on a dog that it was not designed for. 

Basically, you just need to make sure that you are responsible, whatever you do with you dog. Being a pet owner is a big responsibility. You now have to feed it, provide for it, exercise it, and take care of it’s every need until the day it dies. If you cannot commit to that, you don’t deserve to have a dog. That dog is like your child, you need to take care of it in that manner.

Prong collars are not inhumane. People who use them incorrectly are.

Differences

Since I have gotten into the flow of this job, I’ve been reading a lot more blogs in my free time (it all started by finding Butler Party of 3 on Pinterest!) It’s really nice to be able to read about other people’s struggles and joys, things that they’ve tried and either failed at or succeeded at, and their opinions on various subjects. I think that it’s always a good thing to stretch your mind and your ways of thinking. But with all of these other opinions come many realizations that there are many people that were raised/are raising their kids very differently than I was raised or how I plan to raise my kids. And this is ok.

The trap that I’m finding myself having to avoid is comparison. Just because the blogs I read are written by Christian ladies doesn’t mean that I have to raise my kids or clean my house or live my life the exact way that they do to be a good Christian woman, wife, or mother. One blog that I read (courtesy of Butler Party of 3!) is called Always Learning (lorialexander.blogspot.com). I do enjoy her blog because she talks about many subjects that most people are too timid to address in our PC feminist equality society such as being a submissive wife, mothers should stay home, and things like that. One of her children married a close friend to the Duggar family of 19 Kids and Counting TLC fame, so her family holds similar values to the Duggar family. As I read more posts from her (when I find a new blog that I like I tend to binge on it, keeping it as an open tab on my computer until I get all the way through the very first post that they ever wrote) I realize just how different her views are from mine, and it makes me wonder. If there are more people than just families like the Duggars who believe this, should I believe it too? Will I still be a good Christian example to my children if I don’t do that? I don’t know that I would ever be able to walk across my floor barefoot and not feel a crumb or clump of dirt because of my dogs, does that make me a bad wife? Questions like this cause a downward spiral of comparing myself to others and feeling like I don’t measure up.

This is a constant battle that I’ve had to fight for many years as I’ve become an adult. Now don’t get me wrong, my life is amazing. I have a wonderful husband, great dogs, and nice house, a good job, a good car, and a whole long list of other things that are great about my life. But before I got the job that I have now as office manager at my church I was very dissatisfied and unhappy in any job that I had for a few years. With the exception of a job that I quit right before we got married (I was a phlebotomist with the KY Blood Center and it was a job that was near and dear to my heart where I got to help people, but the hours and working conditions were brutal and I couldn’t handle it any longer. Quitting this job put us back quite a bit, so life lesson learned there!) I had never had any substantial jobs, I had only worked retail and fast food service. I dealt daily with feeling like I was being judged for not having a ‘big kid’ job or a job with an impressive title. I especially felt judged by Ross’ family, despite his constant reassurances that they didn’t care at all what kind of job I had. As we talk about what kind of house we would like to move into in a few years, I have to remind myself not to compare it to the house that I grew up in (which was a $300,000 house) and to not worry about the kind of houses that my other friends or family members have. When I see other people who’s pets are perfectly well behaved, I start to feel down on myself because my dogs get too excited to act like that in public and I tend to minimize or forget the fact that they used to not even sit on command and now they will sit and wait patiently to go outside and to eat. 

So while reading blogs and getting other people’s opinions on things is a good way to grow yourself and broaden your horizons, it IS ok if you aren’t in agreement with them. Lori talks about how she homeschooled her children because she wanted to give them a good Christian education but couldn’t afford a private Christian academy; it’s ok for me to want my children to go to public school so that they can enjoy the same social experiences that Ross and I did through sports and music. The Duggars don’t go to public beaches or swimming pools because of the immodesty and the temptation that comes along with that; it’s ok for me to want to live in a house that has a neighborhood pool within a few blocks so my children can spend their summers enjoying the pool and hopefully swimming for the swim team as I did for my whole childhood. I read how lots of women don’t watch TV at all and only play Christian worship music in their house; it’s ok for me to leave the TV on as background noise (with kid appropriate shows if the kids are around of course) and to enjoy listening to oldies music.

Ultimately, I believe that it comes down to what your convictions and your beliefs are. Yes, I do believe in teaching my children manners, and the importance of cleaning, and modesty, and my other Christian beliefs; but I do not believe that my children shouldn’t be exposed to the world, or that we should wear skirts that come below our knees and keep our hair long, or that you can’t do anything that isn’t Christian based/related. I believe that we need to be aware of the world around us and we need to stay grounded in Christ so that we can know how to combat the temptations of it. We are in the world but not of it. It is ok to have different views than other people who share your faith. It’s ok to strive to emulate others that have convictions or beliefs that you want. Focus on yourself, your family, and your relationship with God. He is the one that you have to answer to, not me or Lori or Danielle or Joyce Meyer or Beth Moore or Joel Osteen or anyone else. God should be your focus.

 

*side note! I actually learned the lesson about other people having different convictions than you when I was a lot younger. I love the show Dog The Bounty Hunter and I’ve watched it for many years, my family used to watch it together. I remember asking my mom once while we were watching an episode, how they can be Christians if they cuss so much, because I was confused by all the bleeped out words during a hunt then praying afterwards because we had been raised that we couldn’t even say Jeez because it was too close to Jesus. My mom told me that God is working on different things with different people, so maybe God isn’t working on that with them. I think that is a very important thing to remember when you judge people too, you don’t know what God is working on in their life or what they’ve gone through.*

Why I Am Still A Work In Progress

This week has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week. Just like the kids book. I won’t even get into the laundry list of things that have all gone wrong in the span of 8 days because it’s just depressing to rehash it all. But it did make me think about myself and how I handle things when they go wrong. 

On one of my favorite blogs, www.butlerpartyof3.com, Danielle wrote a very good post over the weekend titled What Do You Believe About God that really got me thinking. (I only read about half of it because she is talking about how her faith has been tested and she has been re-examining her faith in the wake of her brother’s sudden death and I can’t just sit at my desk and bawl like I know I would, so I printed it out to read at home where I can cry in peace) Yes, I have the head knowledge of all of God’s promises to me and over me and my family, but do I really believe them? Do I really truly trust that He is at work and will make everything work out for good? Yes, I may post it in a Facebook status, but do the words that I say on an hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute basis reflect that? Do my thoughts reflect that? And the honest answer is no.

I do my best to always stay positive about everything that goes on, no matter what. I believe that there is always a positive somewhere, even if it’s only that you didn’t get in a car accident during your commute. I also know that our words have power to shape the world around us, because the enemy is always listening and searching for new ways to trip us up and move us off the path that God has for us. To most people, that’s extreme and they don’t believe that, but I do. I believe that if you claim the promises that God has given you in His Word and you truly believe them, they will come to pass in your life. But how do you do that when you feel like your entire world is crashing down around you and you feel so upset and attacked and depressed that all you want to do is lay in bed and cry? That was my test this past week and unfortunately I did not do so well.

“Every promise that I make is true, for I do not lie or change My mind.” – Numbers 23:19

I have experienced the whole spectrum of emotions this past week; from anger to fury to sadness to depression to resolve to vulnerability and back again. I let my emotions get the best of me on more than one occasion, despite my best efforts to keep them in check. At one point I was so emotionally drained and exhausted from the emotional roller coaster that I almost started crying in Pilates class because we were doing some new (to me) exercises and I was struggling with them. Now in hindsight, I know that if I would have just turned to God first and talked to Him about everything that was going on, I would have been able to process my emotions better and not have had to deal with the roller coaster because I would have had His peace to know that everything IS going to work out because He never lets anything happen to us that will not benefit us in the end. (Unless you’re having to deal with consequences from your own bad choices, because we do have free will after all and all decisions have consequences whether they’re good or bad. But that’s a whole different topic.) But God promises us His peace if we would just come to Him and lay our burdens at His feet. He promises that He takes care of His children and He knows everything that is going on. He promises that He will never forsake us, no matter how we feel or how bad things look from our current position.

One thing that Danielle said in her blog was this: “I would love to be able to say that my faith is strong enough to get me through because I know and believe that my God is BIG enough and CAPABLE enough…but do I TRUST the Lord enough to fully depend on Him alone? Do I believe He is really doing all things for good? He is always for me? Will never leave me nor forsake me? Hears my prayers?” That struck major chord with me. I DO know and believe all those things, but do I TRULY believe them? There is a difference between believing that something is true and trusting in that belief with your life. You can believe that a roller coaster is safe all you want with your feet safely on the ground, but do you trust that belief enough to get on the roller coaster? I have seen enough of the ways that God has changed my parents lives in the last 10 years, you would think that I would have no problem believing that God is big enough and strong enough and in charge enough to be able to take care of anything that comes into my life, but sometimes I don’t remember. It is so easy to get caught up in my own life and in my own head, with all the million different things that I have going in hundreds of different directions, but I need to make a more concentrated effort to always put God first and remember that He is always there with me and for me.

Danielle’s post has challenged me to take a good hard look at everything the I believe about God and really evaluate whether I truly believe it or if I’m just giving lip (and keyboard) service to it. The fact that God wants to be involved in every little detail of our lives, that he truly does care about every little thing, seems to be a very hard concept for us to grasp because it’s so hard to reconcile when you put that next to the enormity of God. But I always compare it to my Dad, no matter what he has always been there for me and he always wanted to know everything that was going on. So why wouldn’t our Heavenly Father want to know too? No matter what, no matter how big He is, no matter how many galaxies and universes He’s created, He still wants to be involved in my daily life. That is amazing to me. So if the amazing God of the entire universe and every universe that we have no idea about wants to be a part of my life, I need to make a better effort to keep Him in the loop.

Do I see how God is going to turn this horrible situation with our neighbors and going to court and the violation of our privacy into something good for us? No. But do I trust that He will? Yes. Do I see how God will provide for us to be able to get all the appliances fixed that have broken this past week? No. But do I trust that He will? Yes. Do I know how God is going to calm and comfort my dog who kept me up all night whining over a scratch on his leg? No. But do I trust that He has his hand on every living being in my house to bless them? Yes. Did I really think it was important enough to ask God to keep it from raining when we went to the dog park so we could enjoy one normal thing after such a horrible and defeating week? Not really, but I did anyways and He kept the rain away.

I am still a work in progress because I need to continue to grow my faith and work on trusting that God is ALWAYS looking out for me and ALWAYS has my best interests at heart. He always wants to be there for me and He always wants to take care of me. I need to do more than ‘like’ some posts from preachers and put some Christian song lyrics on my Facebook; I need to do more than print out a bunch of verses and put them up in my house; I need to do more than listen to Christian music in my car. I need to “pray without ceasing” and trust that God will “never leave you nor forsake you”. I need to start reading those verses out loud and claiming them over my life. I need to start putting on the full armor of God every day before I get out of bed. I need to start including God in my every day life and trusting that He will do what He says.

“Every word of every promise that I have made will come to pass.” – 1 Kings 8:56

“We know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.” – 1 Peter 5:7

“If God is for us, who can be against us?” – Romans 8:31

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 8:31

“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper.” – Isaiah 54:17

You Are So Cheap!

Every time I hear or say that phrase, I think of the scene in Transformers where Sam drives off with Bumblebee and fills the backyard with clouds of black exhaust and his mom says “You are so cheap” in that’I cannot believe you’ voice. 🙂

I have always been kinda cheap, in the sense that I don’t like paying for expensive things. I love to shop and I love to spend money, I just don’t love things that cost lots of it at once. My mom has always been a major tightwad too, which is where I get it from. We grew up on garage sales and clearance clothes, which isn’t a bad thing by any means. My brother and I were very hard on our clothes growing up, so why spend all that money to have it be torn up in a couple weeks? (Honestly, that’s probably the attitude I’m going to take with my kids too, when I have some.) But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun to understand and appreciate the phrase “You get what you pay for” a lot more. 

I used to always shop at Kohl’s for pretty much everything. (LOVE Kohl’s!!!) But unfortunately, the quality of some of their clothes has started to go down. Their So… jeans used to be the only ones that I could find that would fit when I was younger (in the price range that my mom was willing to pay for, and Kohl’s $25 jeans were the very top of her clothes budget for me!), but as I got older they started to tear apart a lot faster (thanks a lot thunder thighs!) and I would have to be buying new jeans every 4-6 months! So I started to look a little further out of my usual price range and I got a pair of American Eagle jeans. I love them so much! And so far they’ve lasted me over a year and they’re still going strong! Then my husband took me into Express. Wow was that hard! I had a hard enough time convincing myself that I loved the American Eagle jeans enough to buy them, but spend $60 on a pair of jeans?! Ridiculous!!! So Ross told me to take some thing sin to the dressing room and just stay there, he would pick clothes for me. He did, and I loved them all! (I do have very expensive tastes, I just don’t like the price tag.) And now, I have a couple pairs of Express jeans, plus my pair of American Eagle jeans, and I haven’t bought jeans in over a year! 

So now that allergy season is in full swing, I am reminded if that same lesson. I am so cheap that I’ve been buying generic 24 hour allergy medicine and I’ve been MISERABLE!!! Yes, it’s nice to only pay $6 for a months worth of allergy pills but it’s not worth it to be so itchy that you can’t stand it and to feel so sick because you’re so congested. So I guess I have to go pay for the expensive allergy medicine tonight, but at least I’ll be able to enjoy my lake weekend!

Rules To Live By

I decided that I need a code to live by; one that I came up with myself so I know it’s something I can stick to. So this is what I came up with.

 

Rules To Live By

 

1 – Don’t piss off your neighbors. They’re the people that you have to live by, you really don’t want to start drama because that just makes for an uncomfortable living situation for everyone.

 

2 – Eat as clean as possible as often as possible. Yes, there will be times when you go out to eat and there aren’t any truly clean options, or you just really feel like eating a giant bacon cheeseburger with French fries. But don’t let that ruin your whole day or week. Eating clean will make you feel clean, which will make you look better, which will make you feel better emotionally. It’s a positive cause and effect waterfall.

 

3 – Workout in the morning. You will feel more energized (as long as you aren’t too sore!) and you’ll be more motivated to do things throughout the day because you’ve already accomplished something good (and usually hard to do) before you’ve even really started your day.

 

4 – Don’t miss a Monday workout! But if you do, it’s ok. There’s no reason to feel guilty or beat yourself up over it. There will be days when you’re just too tired from the weekend to get up, and that’s fine. But don’t skip because you don’t feel like it. You’ll thank yourself when you’re old and still strong.

 

5 – Exercise patience in everything you do. There are always underlying reasons as to why people lash out or act rude, and most of them have nothing to do with you. Despite how it makes you feel, be patient so you can positively impact someone else. Getting upset and yelling or throwing a fit will do nothing to help the situation, so why bother?

 

6 – Always make a conscious effort to treat the people closest to you, the best. Just because you had a rough day and got dumped on all day at work doesn’t mean that your hubby, dogs, kids, furniture, or house deserve to get dumped on or beat up when you come home. Make a special trip to the gym and go swim some hard laps. Crank the music up super loud in your car and take your time getting home. Take 5 minutes for yourself and scream into a pillow if you have to, just be nice to the people who matter to you.

 

7 – Take care of yourself. I know the tendency is to put your kids, or your hubby, or your job, or a million other things before yourself but you need to make time for you. If you are happy, everything around you will be better.

 

8 – Trust God. This is one of the hardest things to actually do, not just say you’re going to do. But it is so worth it. God has a plan and as long as you seek Him, He will see His plan to fruition. “For I know the plans I have for you’ declares the Lord. ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer.29:11)

 

9 – Don’t let people walk all over you. There is a point where you are being too nice and you’re letting yourself get taken advantage of. You don’t need to say yes to everything. Being patient and being godly does not mean that you let yourself be treated like a doormat. Even Jesus put His foot down occasionally (flipping tables at the temple). Use your brain, don’t just mindlessly follow what others say.

 

10 – Do what makes you happy. Who cares if your mom thinks that going on Survivor is stupid? Who cares if all the women on Ross’ side of the family think that being a stay at home mom isn’t good enough? Who cares if Ross doesn’t want to go to the lake every weekend? If you want to do it, then do it! This is your life, not theirs. People who truly care for you will support you. You need to make yourself happy, that is how you have a happy life.

Negative Nancies

One of my biggest pet peeves is people who are negative all the time. I cannot STAND it! Now yes, there are some times when I can be pretty negative, and I know that my parents are pretty negative sometimes too, but I try my best to stay positive. Ever since I started learning about the power of your words, I want to surround my life, my home, my office, my car, my dogs, my husband, my EVERYTHING with positivity! 

“It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a person.” Matthew 15:11

So with all the focus that I have put on making my words and thoughts positive, I have become very aware of how negative other people can be. I am also trying to be less judgmental (and gossip less), so I try not to judge others for being negative, but it’s really hard to be around all the negativity. Even things that most people don’t consider negative, they just consider it stating their opinion or being realistic, is actually really negative! My boss has said “That’s scary!” multiple times today and it has really rubbed me the wrong way because by saying that something is scary, you’re saying that you’re scared of it or that you’re scared it won’t go right. Yes, I understand that we need the communion trays that we ordered by this Sunday or we might not have enough, but if they don’t come you already have a back-up plan so it will still be ok. Yes, I understand that you want the printer to be fixed correctly, but just because the tech came and worked on it and was gone before I got in this morning does not mean that he didn’t fix it correctly and it’s going to mess up again. You were using the machine before you even knew the tech had been here this morning and there were no problems! 

To me, stressing and being negative is just such a waste of time. You aren’t going to be able to solve the problem by being negative about it, in fact negative words actually HINDER what you’re wanting to do/get accomplished! I heard some good imagery about words from Pastor Creflo Dollar of World Changers Church in Atlanta. He said that your words are vessels that hold the rest of your life; do you want your storehouses to be full of cracked, broken and poorly made vessels of negativity that won’t be able to hold anything? Or do you want to fill your storehouses with well made, solid, and sturdy pots of positivity that will be able to hold every blessing that the Lord wants to give to you? Personally, I want to be able to joyfully receive and enjoy every blessing that the Lord has in store for me because I know He can bless me far beyond anything I could ever hope or dream.

“For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.”                   Jeremiah 29:11

“I came that you may HAVE AND ENJOY life, in ABUNDANCE, to the FULL, til it OVERFLOWS”             John 10:10

There is no reason to be negative. There is no reason to stress out over things you cannot control. There is no reason to spend your time wringing your hands and worrying. Just do the very best that you can do every day, in everything you do, and that is the best you can do. Trust that God will be looking over you and will see His will through.

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? … But seek His kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.                           Luke 12:25-26,31

Think before you speak. Do you want cracked and broken vessels in your house that will not be able to hold all of God’s blessings? Or do you want to build strong vessels to collect God’s blessings in so you can use His blessings to bless others? Positivity is so much happier than negativity!

 

 

Heaven is Real

So, when I first started going to church with Ross I met an old lady named Doty. (I don’t know if that’s her real name, her last name, or just a nickname, that’s just what we called her) I was told that she had been Ross’ prayer partner and had prayed for him while he was away at college, so right away I knew she was very important to Ross. And not only that, she was always very nice to me and I respected her greatly.

We found out this past weekend that she was in the hospital, but nobody made it sound super serious. They just kept saying things like ‘she’s not doing well’ and that it was an infection and things like that. Ross and I planned to visit her at some point this week, we really wanted to go today but with Ross’ new job we weren’t able to find the time. But tonight he was told that they took her off life support and don’t expect her to make it through tomorrow. I, of course, started bawling, but Ross says that they’ve asked for it to be just family. She doesn’t recognize anyone anymore, not even her own son, but she keeps saying that she wants to see her husband, who has already died. She isn’t thinking thhat he’s still alive, she knows that he’s dead and she knows that she’s going to see him. She’s even said a few times that she has seen him waiting for her. If that isn’t confirmation that heaven is real then I don’t know what is.

As we’re talking about it, Ross tells me that that’s how he wants it to be when he goes. Not the not remembering people part, but that he wants to be talking to and seeing me. In 80 years of course, because we’re going to live to 115. That has to be the sweetest, most amazing thing that I’ve heard, that he loves me so much that he wants his last words and last thoughts to be about me. If that isn’t true love, then I don’t know what is. I am so blessed to have such an amazing man as my husband, that I get to love and cherish him for the rest of my life, that he gets to be the father of our future children, that I get to spend every night next to him. I am truly blessed.

Inspiration

This past Easter Sunday, I got to sing with the worship team in the service (which isn’t anything unusual, I sing pretty much every other week) and I absolutely loved the worship! I love to sing anyways, but this time it was different. I could really feel the Holy Spirit in the room and it was amazing! There were 2 songs that we sang that truly took my breath away, Glorious Day and The Only Name (Yours Will Be). 

Glorious Day

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises

One day when sin was as dark as could be

Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin

Dwelt among men; my example is He.

The Word became flesh and the light shined among us,

Hid glory revealed

 

Living He loved me;

Dying He saved me;

Buried He carried my sins far away.

Rising He justified freely forever;

One Day He’s coming

O glorious day!

 

One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain.

One day they nailed Him to die on a tree.

Suffering anguish, despised and rejected,

Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He.

Hand that healed nations stretched out on a tree and took the nails from me.

 

Living He loved me;

Dying He saved me;

Buried He carried my sins far away.

Rising He justified freely forever;

One day He’s coming

O glorious day!

 

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer.

One day the stone rolled away from the door.

Then He arose, over death He had conquered;

Now is ascended, my Lord evermore!

Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him from rising again!

 

Living He loved me;

Dying He saved me;

Buried He carried my sins far away.

Rising He justified freely forever;

One day He’s coming

O glorious day!

 

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming.

One day the skies with His glories will shine.

Wonderful day my Beloved one bringing.

My Savior Jesus is mine!

 

Living He loved me;

Dying He save me;

Buried He carried my sins far away.

Rising He justified freely forever;

One day He’s coming

O glorious day!

 

I love this song so much because it is so full of hope for me! I have struggled with so much fear of death that the phrase “The He arose, over death He had CONQUERED!” is just so amazing!!! There is nothing to be afraid of because I trust in the one who conquered death!

The other song that really impacted me was a new song that I had never sang before the rehearsal, I had never even heard it because I don’t listen to Christian radio (I do mostly only listen to Christian CDs though, with some oldies mixed in). The Only Name (Yours Will Be is a Big Daddy Weave song and I got a copy of it and listened to it non-stop for 2 days after rehearsal!

The Only Name (Yours Will Be)

Yours will be the only Name that matters to me,

The only One Whose favor I seek,

The only Name that matters to me.

 

Yours will be the friendship and affection I need,

To feel my Father smiling on me,

The only Name that matters to me.

 

And Yours is the Name, the Name that saved me.

Mercy and grace, the power that forgave me.

And Your love is all I’ll ever need.

 

Yours will be the only Name that matters to me.

The only One Whose favor I seek.

The only Name that matters to me.

 

When I wake up in the land of glory,

with the saints I will tell my story,

and there will be one Name I proclaim!

 

The phrase in that song, “Yours will be the FRIENDSHIP and affection I need” stopped me in my tracks. Literally. I had to make myself keep singing when we got to that line because it hit me like a ton of bricks. I’ve been struggling a lot lately with feeling like I don’t have any friends anymore. I am a social person, I like to see people and do things (most of the time, everybody has their times when they just want to be anti-social!) and since my best friend moved I haven’t had the opportunity to do that as much. I feel like I have fewer friends than I do fingers on one hand and that really bothers me because I don’t have anyone I feel like I can really talk to sometimes. And I know that I have friends, and I love my friends, and I know that it’s harder to find time to hang out as we get older and have crazier schedules, but it still bothered me a little bit. But that line really made me stop and realize that I am supposed to be putting God FIRST in all my relationships and in all things. If I have a good friendship with Him, He will fill my life with godly friends that will enrich my life. If I worry more about what He thinks of me and what I’m thinking, then the things in my life will quit falling apart and start falling together in His plan. I need to worry more about my friendship and relationship with God than with people (not that friendships with people are bad, it says in the Bible that we need fellowship with others). I just need to get my priorities straight.

So needless to say, my Easter was an amazing time of worship and celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

More Family, More Holidays

When I was a kid, I always thought that it must be so awesome for kids who’s parents were divorced because they got to have 2 of every holiday. (I was a kid who’s parents were and still are happily married, I didn’t quite get the concept of how much divorce sucks for the kids)Then when I got older, I thought how much fun it would be when I got married because we would have holidays and birthdays with both families. Now that I am married and am having to do all major holidays with both families, I realize how much it kinda sucks. Yes, it is nice to be able to see everybody and it is fun when you’re there, but still. We’ve been pretty lucky so far, all the holidays the last few years have been pretty easy. My mom works retail so we do Thanksgiving on the Wednesday of that week instead of Thursday so we don’t have to do 2 Thanksgivings in 1 day. His uncle is a preacher so they do Easter the Saturday before since he has to do services that morning and evening. The only time it was a little difficult is when his grandma rented a cabin in Gatlinburg for the whole week of Thanksgiving and wanted the whole family to come down there for Thanksgiving. My parents were very nice about it and we did Thanksgiving with them a whole week in advance so we could go on this Murphy family trip.

But this year, Easter has turned into a major stress-fest for me. This year, one of Ross’ cousins has decided to throw her son’s birthday party at 4 in the afternoon on the day before Easter, which is exactly when the Murphy’s usually do their Easter. So that pretty much screwed everybody. Well, it screwed us at least. So Ross got a text from his grandma last night (exactly 1 week before Easter) saying that they decided to do Easter dinner right after church on Sunday, which is exactly the same time that my parents are doing theirs. So needless to say, I am not very happy about this. I got so upset when Ross told me that I almost started crying right on the spot. I’ve spent so much time away from him that I really just wanted to spend a nice day together and now we’re going to be rushing around like crazy people trying to get to all the family events. At first I thought that he would end up going to his family’s Easter and I would go to mine, and the idea of that just broke my heart. I know it’s not like he’s in the military or living in another state for a job or anything really hard like that, but he’s working almost 60 hours a week and all day Saturday and Sunday and he’s 30 minutes away so he doesn’t get home until almost 9 at night. It really sucks. But he says that we’ll go to my family’s Easter then get to his whenever we get there. While I really like that, I don’t at the same time. 

When Ross and I were dating/engaged, he told me that his grandma doesn’t like his cousins spouses very much because once they got married, they quit coming to family stuff as much and they quit coming over to see her very much. I am not like that and I haven’t heard anything like that about me, but I’m still paranoid about it. Yes, we go over to my parent’s house for lunch after church every Sunday, but that’s because we don’t get out of church until almost 12:30 most Sundays and his family is already halfway through their lunch by then. (No joke, his uncle ends service between 11:55 and 12 like clockwork and they’re done with lunch by 1) So I’m really trying to make sure that it doesn’t come across that we can’t/aren’t going to Murphy things because we’re doing things with my family, but it’s true! We had already told my parents that we would do Easter with them after church on Easter Sunday! I can’t change my entire family’s schedules around because the Murphy’s change their minds and don’t decide what they’re going to do until the week before! Which I think is why Ross said that we’ll just get there when we get there but I’m still worried. I know it’ll be fine, but I feel like we never get to see his family anymore (because we don’t), but I know that’s not my fault. I just don’t like it.

I did not expect that have twice the holidays and twice the family would be such a headache!!!!!!!!